Wednesday's Afternoon Update
What you need to know about Florida today
Florida farmers still hurting even after new trade agreement with Mexico, Canada
The United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA) was supposed to help U.S. farmers. But Florida Agriculture Commissioner Nikki Fried says farmers in her state are still hurting. And the agreement isn’t stopping Mexico from engaging in what she calls “unfair trade practices.” According to a new report from the Florida Department of Agriculture, Florida has been losing its market share for certain seasonal produce, while Mexico’s market share for those same products has been rising. Fried agrees that Mexico is dumping. More from WUFT.
FAIR fights for the right to enter Florida Power & Light’s rate-hike request
As Florida Power & Light began pursuing an increase in base electric rates this year, a new group called Floridians Against Increased Rates emerged to oppose the utility. That has led to battles at the state Public Service Commission about whether the group, known as FAIR, should be able to take part in the high-stakes rate case and whether information about its members should be made public. More from the Orlando Sentinel.
Jacksonville-area tourism is bouncing back. Even with the COVID surge, there's optimism
All three tourism bureaus along the area's coastal counties reported record numbers for visitation from April to July, with August data still being tabulated. Visitation numbers in Duval, Nassau and St. Johns counties surged as leisure travelers from across the country were eager to get back to vacations after being cooped up in quarantine. More from the Florida Times-Union.
Odds increase to 50% for tropical system projected to pass over Florida this week
An area of disturbance, forecast to pass over Florida Wednesday night or Thursday morning, has 50/50 odds of becoming the next tropical depression before landfall, according to the National Hurricane Center. As of 5 a.m., a surface area trough associated with thunderstorms and showers over the Gulf of Mexico has a 50% chance of developing in the next 48 hours but stands a decent chance of forming in the Gulf later today with more favorable conditions, the NHC said. More from the Orlando Sentinel.
A year after expanding to South Florida, local TV streaming service Locast suspends operations
Locast, an internet service that streamed local broadcast TV signals to viewers in the stations’ coverage areas, has suspended its operations a year after expanding into South Florida. And it’s unclear whether it will ever come back. The nonprofit service, launched in January 2018, was being sued by ABC, NBC, CBS, FOX and their parent companies for copyright infringement. Last week, a federal judge in New York granted the networks’ motion to dismiss Locast’s defense that it was exempt from liability under U.S. copyright law. More from the South Florida Sun-Sentinel.
Clearwater council heads to Philadelphia amid talks with Phillies
City leaders will travel to Philadelphia to network with members of the Philadelphia Phillies organization on Friday and Saturday, resuming the yearly tradition that was skipped in 2020 due to the coronavirus pandemic. The annual pilgrimage began in the 1940s, when the Phillies made Clearwater their spring training home. But stakes are high this year as the city and team are still negotiating a deal to keep the Phillies playing in Clearwater after the current contract expires in 2023.
» More from the Tampa Bay Times.
Kroger says it's not trying to steal business from Publix with delivery service
The top executive of one of the largest grocers in the country, The Kroger Co. CEO Rodney McMullen, says he is not looking to steal business from Florida’s own supermarket king, Publix. Kroger’s actions in the state, including recent debuts of grocery delivery in Tampa and Jacksonville, with Miami likely in the next few months, show something else.
» Read more from the Jacksonville Daily Record.
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